Monday, May 12, 2014

Too Rex and Strange Orchestra at The Half Moon

Putney, London. Saturday 26-April-2104

A chance to see Strange Orchestra and Too Rex on the same bill was too good an opportunity to miss. I have seen T.Rextasy several times but never Too Rex so I was interested to see how they compared.

On the other hand I have seen the wonderful Strange Orchestra at a couple of the annual Bop in Golders Green. They play the music of Tyrannosaurus Rex which is more my era and preference and the main reason I wanted to go.

Mary wasn't interested so she stayed at home and I went with my old friend Ros. We had for a drink beforehand and met up with several FaceBook friends.

Pre-gig drinks

First on were Strange Orchestra who did a set of Tyrannosaurus Rex ranging all the way from "Beginning of Doves" to "A Beard of Stars". It was a magical set, Marc Hartley really nailed the voice spot on. I was getting all nostalgic for my youth.

Next up were Too Rex who did two sets. They are good. It is hard to say how they compare to T.Rextasy as this is such a small venue. "Intimate" is the term often used, and the whole atmosphere is very different to the large scale gigs where I have been to see T.Rextasy. It is good that there is room for two tribute bands. I have since learned there is also a Scottish tribute band called Hot Love.

A most enjoyable evening. At the end I said cheerio to a few people and toddled off home on the bus my ears ringing - but not too loudly.

...and, as always in an Elvish abode, dreams of the gentlest texture.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

A Walk in Surrey: Milford to Haslemere

Surrey, England. Saturday 26-April-2014.

Time Out Country Walks volume 1: Walk 27 - Milford to Haslemere

A lovely sunny walk through Surrey with sandy soils, gorse, bracken and deciduous woods. Past old farms, cottages and churches.

Wonderful old brick and stone building

We were entertained by this gravestone in Church of St Michael and All Angels, Thursley. The top part of the inscription reads:
In Memory of
A generous but unfortunate Sailor
Who was barbarously murder'd on Hindhead.
On Sep.r 1786,
By three Villains,
After he had liberally treated them,
And promised them his farther Assistance,
On the Road to Portsmouth.

Gravestone in Church of St Michael and All Angels

We went along ancient sunken roads so very evocative of mediaeval times.

Sunken Lane

Nearing the end was the advertised star of the walk: The Devil's Punch Bowl.

The Devils Punch Bowl

From the NT car park at the top of the climb was a view across to the Hog's Back between Guildford and Farnham.

View of the Hog's Back from The Devil's Punchbowl

The guide claims the walk is 11.7 miles, the Garmin made it longer than that. Unfortunately the Garmin can never agree with itself so I always go with the more modest mileage - even then it made out distance as 12.6.

Never mind the exact mileage - it was a lovely day out and a train back home.

Saturday, May 03, 2014

CSC Alumni at The Crusting Pipe April 2014

Covent Garden, London, UK. Wednesday 23-April-2014

cscalumni is a unofficial Yahoo group Anne and I set up for past employees of CSC (primarily in the UK) who wish to keep in touch - many of whom worked for Inforem which was acquired by CSC. We also use it for organising occasional drinks.

To say these gatherings are held erratically is an understatement - see previous cscalumni posts. They are also usually small gatherings as we are scattered to all parts of the planet.

Valter, Bob, Simon, Anne

Many of the previous gathering have been on a Thursday which clashes with Simon's Barbershop choir evenings so this time I chose a Wednesday especially for him.

Simon, Anne

We caught up on our latest news and reminisced about old times and "Whatever happened to ...?"

Nostalgia is all very well but it's not what it used to be.

Thursday, May 01, 2014

Pasqua in Puglia 2014

Cisternino, Puglia, Italy. Thursday 17-Apr-2014

We flew out to Italy for a shortened Easter trip - our original plan had been a full week but at the time I had no work so we prudently maximised Mary's billable days. That meant we crammed a week's worth of socialising into four days.

Thursday evening we invited our neighbours Mark and Sue round to see the apartment. They are not only our nearest neighbours to Trullo Azzurro but it transpired that they live only 1.5 miles from us in London.

After the tour - it doesn't take long for a one room apartment - we then went out for a meal at MezzoFanti complete with live Jazz.

The Jumpin' Drivers.

Saturday we ate in. Sunday lunch was with ex-pat friends hosted by Chris and John plus their visitors. On the way there we saw more Strega Befana - good witch.

We flew out with eight Cadbury's eggs in our hand luggage which we distributed to the assembled company.

One egg was for Michele and Rosa next door who whitewash our trulli every spring and rotavate the garden as needed. Of course we all had to come in and have nibbles and and digestivi.

In Sotto Le Stelle we relaxed and admired the vaulted arches yet again.

It being Easter there was the obligatory parade of the Madonna which passed under our window.

Easter Monday it was lunch at Kath and Richard's who's house we can see from our terrace. Only 0.83 miles but it is all downhill. A long boozy lunch was followed by a stagger back up the hill.

Tuesday was lock up and off to the airport via Carole and Mino's for a cup of tea.

We enjoyed the trip so much we booked another week out here in July; September is too long to wait for our next trip.

Trullo Azzurro logoTrullo Azzurro: beautifully restored trullo in delightful, secluded valley near Locorotondo, Puglia, Italy. Available to rent on a per week basis, sleeps 8-10. For more information visit